BBC: Sky Blues right to be optimistic
- 06 November 2013 09:00
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
The morning after the night before and while Champions League progression with two group games still to play is good news, the hard work is only just beginning.
City had to reach the knock-out stages this season after two failed attempts and only now will the ponderings begin in the Press about how far Manuel Pellegrini’s side might go in the competition.
The luck of the draw will play a big part, but expect plenty of scrutiny of the Sky Blues’ credentials in the coming weeks and months, with the BBC’s Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty wasting no time in airing his opinions.
He writes: “For all their fine work in reaching the last 16 so early, their one encounter with elite opposition ended with a harsh lesson being handed out by holders Bayern in a 3-1 win at The Etihad
“So where does Pellegrini find the roots of his optimism? Certainly in the shape of a world-class striker in a rich vein of form with the talent to break down any defence.
“Sergio Aguero's penalty that set City on their way made him the club's top scorer in Europe with 11, edging ahead of the great Francis Lee. It was the sixth game in a row in which the Argentine has hit the target and he added a second for good measure.
“And his partnership with Alvaro Negredo was simply too much for CSKA, with the Spaniard's hat-trick confirming his status at City's new cult hero.
“The powerful, bustling Negredo has been christened "The Beast" at The Etihad and the old Shaun Goater chant of "Feed The Goat And He Will Score" has been rewritten in his honour.
Such is his new-found status that he was even announced as "Beast of the Match" by a PA announcer entering into the spirit of the occasion
“Aguero and Negredo will be a handful for any defence - but will Pellegrini play both against the better teams if City move further into the competition?”
Food for thought and for the answer to that question, we’ll have to wait until the New Year. FourFourTwo.com pick up on Yaya Toure’s post-match comments in their online feature this morning.
They write: “City are now into uncharted territory in Europe's premier club competition, and midfielder Toure reflected on a job well done.
“The Ivory Coast international told Sky Sports News: ‘Today is a special day for the fans and the club as it is the first time we have gone through to the next round.’
“Aguero took his tally to nine goals in his last six games in all competitions, as well as becoming City's highest scorer of all time in European football.
“Negredo, meanwhile, now has five in his last three games, and Toure paid tribute to the in-form strike duo.
‘They are working well, they are sharp and they deserve it. They were amazing,’ added the Sky Blues’ skipper.”